Sophrosyne

Sophrosyne [suh-fros-uh-nee] is my new word for the year (with fandabbydosy coming in a close second…love the feel of those syllables!)  I know it is March…nearly April and I should have chosen my word for the year in January. For the past few months I have toyed with the word “nourished” because I thought it filled my current need for seeking spiritual and physical…want or need. I can’t find the right word for this…loss of true harmony. Turns out there is an amazing ancient Greek word that embodies all I lack and seek…sophrosyne.

I found this word while skimming some of the works of Plato (Charmides if you want to read for yourself). In my little spare time I am reading about the influence of humanism from the ancient Greek philosophers on Thomas Aquinas and how this affected the course of the Christian church and Western history (yeah, I need a hobby). Since I am not all that clever I have to look up many words I stumble on in my readings…Anyway, one of the words I encountered was sophrosyne. A word with no clear equivalent English translation. In my quest for physical, spiritual, and mental (that one may be a lost cause!) health this word…sophrosyne…is what I seek!

Sophrosyne is expressed by an abiding awareness of one’s true worth, a healthy state of being dominated by orderly behavior leading to harmony within one’s self and with the Divine. Isn’t that an amazing word! I want to be healthy both within my spirit and within my physical being. I truly believe there is a connection in how I care for this earthy home of the Hold Spirit and my relationship with Christ. I cherish this gift of life and I believe that if I honor this gift then I will find a deeper connection with my Lord. This word expresses my belief in how to achieve this harmony.  It is a continuous process of self-knowledge and self-restraint leading to spiritual harmony.

It means eating healthy foods in healthy proportions is something to rejoice in not feel miserable about. Overindulgence (in food or things) leads to guilt and bondage (a lack of health from over-eating and an unhealthy life-style) and self-discipline (proper and healthy food and activity) points to freedom and joy. If I quit abusing this body and seek the Lord with all my heart then sophrosyne is my way of life…true harmony is mine. Perusing a healthy lifestyle is part of achieving sophrosyne.

My wibbly-wobbly posts about achieving fitness and a healthy lifestyle are now under the name of sophrosyne.

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Wibbly Wobbly: Just Plodding Along

I think it might be easier to understand theoretical particle physics than to lose weight. I’m not giving up but simply acknowledging this process is going to take a wee bit longer to see measurable progress. I was down about hitting this plateau a couple of weeks ago. Instead of turning to a box or two of chocolate I’ve kept trudging along. No fun, but I know if I just persevere I will succeed. So, oddly enough, I was rather amused to discover this week’s chapter (Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese by Ellie Marrandette) was all about persevering!

So the scale and body measurements haven’t moved much. Once I quit beating myself up I realized that I am not in a race to lose weight. It is okay for this process to take time. Also, I do feel better. Since I started exercising my hip doesn’t hurt as much. My aching hip no longer wakes me up at night (wish I could say the same about my four-year old!). Turns out I am making progress…just not the measurements I considered to be successful. Honestly, I’ll take less pain and better sleep over pounds lost any day.

I’ll just keep plodding along at my slow pace. Eventually the progress I want will manifest.

I need to get past this plateau so I need to change a few things. I’ve added some weight lifting to my workout. I’ve only gone through the routine twice but I plan to use weights three times per week. I also plan to increase my workouts to six times a week instead of just four. Now that the weather is getting better I will most likely walk in the evenings outside with my husband. So some days I will get two workout sessions. Maybe I’ll even be able to keep up with him one of these days! I’ve added a few dances and workouts to my YouTube page. I always start out with Good Morning, Do Life Big, and Gerinomo from Refit Revolution. After those three songs I am ready to grab life by the horns and win! Sometimes I even repeat! Toward the bottom of my list is a Jessica Smith walking workout with weights that I like and plan to use three times a week for now.

The next change I plan to make is with my diet. I think I will do better fighting cravings throughout the day if I begin with a big breakfast. I like my smoothies but I do not love them. So I am going to have a yummy big breakfast, my premade soups for lunch and a very small dinner. I have always envisioned that we should have a huge yummy dinner in the evenings but really I think a small supper would be better. So I am going to try out the old saying of eating like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a pauper for supper. I’ll let you know how that goes the next week…

Wibbly-Wobbly: Bye-bye February!

Snow!

Snow!

February. Not a good month for me. I did not lose any weight but I didn’t gain any either. I lost all motivation to exercise or eat properly when arctic temperatures and snow hit our area. Sadly, another system is moving in later today and turning into sleet and snow by morning. Anyway, I may have lost nearly all of my motivation but since I didn’t gain any weight I did not lose my will power. For the most part I controlled what I ate. On the really cold and depressing days I just strived to control how much I ate of comforting foods.

Over the past three weeks it has been warmer on occasion in Alaska than Kentucky! In my book that is reason enough to devour all the chocolate in the house. I didn’t…of course I may have stood in the kitchen and stared at the chocolate.

I didn’t blog one word on these Wibbly-Wobbly posts for two weeks. The first week I missed I just didn’t realize it was Tuesday until I went to bed that night. All the bad weather shut everything around here down as well as my daily routines. Last week…well…I was having a bad day and would not have been able to post anything positive.

However, I wasn’t idle over the past two weeks. I solved a major hurdle in getting exercise time. I get up early to exercise and get showered before the rest of the family gets moving. Yesterday, I even had muffins baking in the over for the kids before getting them up for the day. I’m only exercising every other day at the moment but plan to start doing do more often next week. On the days I do not exercise I still get up and enjoy some quiet reading. I’ve learned that I am more consistent with getting up to exercise if I also get up at the same time on my non-exercise days. The other issue I was having in getting to exercise was washing-up without waking the rest of the household. Once the littlest one is up a lovely shower is not a possibility. We have a full bathroom downstairs in the basement and it had never occurred to me to use it! So I moved all of my things into the basement bath. Everyone sleeps while I exercise and get my day started.

I mentioned last time that I was thinking about trying out a detox. No. No. That is not going to happen. I’m not sure that I could handle the side effects and headaches and homeschool. We will shut down school for two weeks in July when two of the boys are attending Lego camp. Maybe I will consider one then but…maybe not. But why not a gentler approach to detox? I already have a smoothie most mornings. So why not some detox soups for lunch! Several of them looked tasty to me. I’ve pinned a few on Pinterest and this weekend made a large pot of the Anti-inflammatory vegetarian soup. The only thing I did differently from the recipe was add a tablespoon of turmeric. So far this week I’ve loved having a bowl of soup with some crackers for lunch. If I make this soup again I will just cut the squash in half and bake it…those are not easy to peel! I also have the ingredients on hand to make the creamy spiced cauliflower soup. Now that I have smoothies and soup everyday I think I am getting the required amount of vegetables and fruit for the first time in my life.

Chapter ten in Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese is on willpower. I liked this chapter. Ellie gives several examples of how to handle some diet killing food related scenarios without hurting someone’s feelings. She also gives advise on getting the body’s metabolism running and dealing with weight-loss plateaus. I’m going to add a cup or two of ice water each day to help get my body revved up each day.

I’m glad February is over. I’m a bit down that I did not lose at least one pound. However, I am glad that I’ve solved the problem of getting in my exercise for the day and having a sensible lunch already made for busy school days.

Please consider sharing any good soup recipes!

 

Wibbly-Wobbly: Finding My Groove

Last week did not go as planned. I thought I would be able to fit in some fitness in the evenings. I only exercised once on my own. I realized that I am just too tired in the evenings to even think about exercising. Also, it is just too easy for me to “justify” not abandoning my husband with the kids in order to workout. So now, I get up at five in the morning and exercise. Oh my, that is early!!!

I really thought I would hate getting up so early to exercise…I kinda do dislike the exercise part. Oh, let’s be honest! I completely dislike it!!!! I learned a little something about myself. I love having a little time all alone…not being needed by anyone.  After showering, I curl up in the recliner with the Bible and read…all by myself. Everyone else is still asleep and I am alone for twenty to forty-five minutes. Starting my day with this oasis of solitude is…so…I can’t find the word to share how needed and wonderful this time is for me. I love the silence…

I start and end my exercise routine with this fun song on YouTube by REFIT Revolution. I’m not really into Christian Pop but it is a fun and happy song. I can’t really keep-up with those pretty young girls but the song puts me in a good mood. Sometimes I move on to an Alisa Keeton workout song but she is kinda like a kangaroo and likes to jump…a lot! I then move onto a couple of workouts from Jessica Smith or Fitness Blender Here is my current playlist on YouTube. If the link doesn’t work I’ll post each link at the end of this post.

This week I am on chapter six of Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese. One line of the chapter really jumped off the page for me: “the process is more important than the progress”!!! I really needed this encouragement today. I want to see the results of my hard work and I want to see it now!!!! The truth is it is going to take time, hard work, commitment, and dependence on God. As much as I want instant results I know it is the hard work and commitment that will teach me how to not only lose the weight but keep it off for good. I need to learn how to care for this body God gave me and in the process hopefully teach my children to care for theirs.

To help my children get in the practice of exercising we have been going for a walk everyday (so long as it is dry outside). Today the high was only around thirty degrees but we went out and walked for fifteen minutes. Right now we are working on “walking the Iditarod.” We plan to walk 1049 minutes with each minute representing a mile of the Iditarod. On rainy days I have a “mushers challenge” of basic exercises to do together (push-ups, jumping jacks, squats and the like).

I would show a lot more progress if I could just quit snacking (scarfing down) potato chips…

 

Living and Active Challenge

You’ve been drafted. I need an accountability partner and am finding it tough to find someone. Never mind, scratch that. My sweet friend Yoga Girl just stepped up to the plate! She just agreed on Facebook as I was writing this up. I still plan to write-up a weekly post on the five-week challenge that is getting started. You can join in on the challenge at Peak313 Fitness. All of the instructions for the challenge are on her site.

-exercise at least four times a week for twenty-five minutes each

-take a before picture

-take body measurements and weight

-memorize weekly Scripture

I will also track my diet which isn’t a real joy for me but I think I’ll do better with my eating plan if I write every little crumb down. I actually started yesterday and I’ve managed to get a workout in today.  I also plan to workout at least five times a week instead of four. I will post the before and after measurements at the end of the challenge.

My challenges: It is allergy season for me so I do not feel like exercising…my head hurts all the time. I am ready for a good frost to wipe out all the ragweed…My other challenge is that my mother is showing up next week. I might have a hard time squeezing in the workout routine…or I might run screaming through the neighborhood to let off some stress. Surely that will count as exercise!